Tuesday, January 26, 2010

District Heating and Cooling Part 2

The largest source of CO2 emissions for the average BC household is from transportation. The second largest is from heating and cooling. Imagine not having to use any “new” energy to heat and cool our homes. Imagine what sort of large scale positive impact we could have on our environment.This is where district heating and cooling comes in. One of the great things about district heating is that it uses “waste energy” to provide useful energy. Industry, sewerage, power generation, and waste-to-end plants all create heat as a by-product. Right now, we send all this heat into the air; wasting it. Take, for example, your normal fossil-fuel power plant. Only about 40% of the input energy is turned into electricity. By connecting the plant to a district heating system, 50% of the energy output can be redirected to heating. The plant jumps from 40% efficiency to 90%! District heating also saves money and electricity. According to BC Hydro, half of a home’s energy bill is spent on heating and cooling. Imagine the saving you would see on your Hydro bill with district heating. BC Hydro wouldn’t be running out of electricity if we switch to district heating.

It is great to see that Township of Langley Council, spearheaded by Councillor Jordan Bateman, is seriously looking at creating heating districts. Check out the following slides.The Township would have access to geoexchange (which uses the relatively stable ground temperature to regulate heating and cooling), biofuels, sewage, and even heat from ice making at the Langley Events Centre as sources. Let’s take this one step further. Metro Vancouver is looking at Waste-to-Energy as a solution to our garbage issue. Why not make these combined electrical and district heating plants? District heating should be a major part in reducing our CO2 footprint in Metro Vancouver.

District Heating and Cooling Part 1

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